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Helping injured athletes with physical therapy

When the St. Francis Prep terriers take the football field next season, they will be rejoined by players Peter Muhlhausen and Greg Danca, who are returning to the game after undergoing physical therapy at Professional Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy (POSPT) in Bayside.
POSPT uses state-of-the-art equipment to assist its clients with a wide variety of injuries and “strives to provide our patients with the highest quality of care in the field of physical therapy.”
Fullback Muhlhausen, who will be going into his senior year, had felt pain in his right shoulder for several years. He hurt it further during a game last fall that required physical therapy and surgery.
Jeff Yellin, DPT, CSCS, a physical therapist at POSPT, said that when Muhlhausen first came for his shoulder injury the focus was getting his full range of motion back while decreasing pain and swelling. Muhlhausen attended physical therapy about three times a week for an hour and a half each time while also doing exercises at home.
“(My) shoulder’s great right now,” said Muhlhausen, who is now playing baseball and participating in football workouts. He continued, “My shoulder has been bothering me for a while before I hurt it badly and now I’m finally confident that I can use my shoulder.”
Yellin added, “For the most part, he’s as good as new.”
Sophomore Danca, a cornerback, injured his right knee during a tackle while playing in a football game. He ended up with a torn ACL and had to have surgery on it last December to have major reconstruction done.
When beginning physical therapy at POSPT, which opened in Bayside in 1999, certified athletic trainer Kristen Henderson said that Danca did activities that would reduce swelling, improve motion and reeducate his muscles.
Danca said that his knee now feels “great, better than ever.” He also said that before be couldn’t even walk because of his knee injury, but he can now run. Henderson said that Danca has reached his full physical therapy potential.
George Papadopoulos, an owner at Professional Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, said that both Muhlhausen and Danca were extremely dedicated and motivated when it came to their therapy. He said that the two athletes came in as early as 6:30 a.m. to do therapy and then spent a full day at school before returning for more therapy on some days and then going home to do homework.
“Our goal is to help each patient to achieve their goals,” said Papadopoulos.
Muhlhausen said that one of the most valuable things he learned from POSPT was to keep stretching, saying that although it is very important to do, many athletes overlook it.
“I’ve played on a lot of teams where stretching was just a joke,” he said. “That’s how injuries happen.”
Danca said that he also learned about stretching and also learned the importance of having a good mental attitude.
Professional Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy is located at 21-24 Utopia Parkway in Bayside. For more information, call 718-767-0610 or visit www.professionalpt.com.

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